The EUIPO is enlarging its presence in Africa. Following an official welcome by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the EU-funded AfrIPI project set up its leading office in Harare, Zimbabwe, on 27 April.
“The move marks a new era in EU-Africa intellectual property relations. From now on, AfrIPI will work in even closer partnership with our African partners. We appreciate the welcome by ARIPO and their kind offer to host our offices at their new headquarter premises”, commented Dennis Scheirs, project leader of AfrIPI.
The new AfrIPI team in Harare includes the project leader and two experts on intellectual property issues and geographical indications, respectively, as well as a project support officer.
In addition, the project counts on another team in Yaoundé, Cameroon, where the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) is based. The deputy project leader Gregor Schneider, an enforcement expert, a communication consultant and a project support officer are part of this team. A trade negotiation expert in Accra, Ghana, where the African Union (AU) is based, also supports the project.
The AfrIPI project was created at the end of 2020, and carries out IP cooperation activities with regional and local partners. One of these activities will be the Diplomatic Conference on voluntary copyright registration in July in Kampala, Uganda, where the AfrIPI project will be officially launched on the presence of ARIPO, OAPI, AU, the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Commission.